Anger lingers, but most ultimately will back the new KSU
November 14, 2013 01:06 AM | 2944 views | 6 6 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As many suspected when it was first announced two weeks ago, the merger of Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University is now a done deal. The state Board of Regents, which oversees the University System of Georgia, voted unanimously Tuesday to combine the two schools into one new school — which will retain the name and colors of KSU and be headed by current KSU President Dr. Dan Papp.

The Regents made a show of impartiality Tuesday, allowing three representatives of SPSU to address them before they vote. But their minds had already been made up, as their votes soon showed.

Moreover, the vote was less than a minute old before Regents PR flacks began handing out copies of a news release describing the consolidation plan.

It’s something the Regents should have been doing months ago — making the case for why two schools of dramatically different sizes, different missions, different backgrounds and different makeups had to be combined. The Regents offered vague promises the merger would save money, but that was about it.

And though the Regents had announced a year ago that they were considering such a merger, that was the last anyone had heard about such a possibility, at least publicly. There was nothing done to lay the groundwork with those it would most closely affect — the students, faculty and administrators.

In short, the Regents’ bombshell was rolled out so ineptly, and with so little consideration of the impact on those involved, that it made the unveiling of New Coke — or the Obamacare website — seem successful.

That said, what is done is done. The merger is now a fact. The clock is ticking on SPSU. The task now is to somehow blend those differing missions and curriculums and campuses and do so in a way that enhances both. It won’t be an easy task, and it’s one that the Regents have made significantly more awkward for Dr. Papp by the way they have gone about doing what they’ve done.

Papp will need the support not just of those at his school but of those now at SPSU to make it work. He’ll also need the support of the broader Cobb community. And though many are angry at the Regents, we’re confident those feelings will pass and that most, if not all, will ultimately and enthusiastically support the “new” and enhanced KSU.

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what of franklin rd
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November 15, 2013
So we just voted for $700 million or more in taxes for converting Franklin Rd physically and metaphorically to align with SPSU as a university district.

Will KSU take over the SPSU campus?

Will the SPSU campus be shut down? Sold?

Will SPSU be razed and converted to parking with a shuttle to KSU?

If KSU moves in to the old SPSU campus, do we HAVE to go ahead spending all our money on Franklin Road only to benefit Kennesaw?

What happens to Life U? Does KSU gobble it up too? How soon?

So many questions, but so few answers in the MDJ, because the MDJ never looks seriously at any goings ons that are consistent with Otis Junior the Third's interests in keeping the "keep Terry Schaivo alive" party alive a little longer.

Terry Schaivo died, and the Republicans are suicidal about their own impending death. Otis Junior the Third, if you want to keep MDJ alive, you need to move forward with the rest of Marietta and the rest of the nation. Ruralburban Cobb resident types are a dying breed. That is why Isakson is building them a home to die in.
no matter what
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November 14, 2013
No matter what anyone does to try to clean up this little takeover, it has been obvious, indeed, shockingly so, that the Holy Board of Regents feel absolutely nothing but contempt for the President, Faculty and Students of SPSU. And incidentally, a lot of good people helped bring this school to Cobb and we have always been proud of it. This whole thing is just disgraceful.
moliere
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November 14, 2013
I wonder if this was a response by the powers that be to SPSU becoming "too good." If your purpose of going to engineering school was merely to get a high -paying job in the local area and not doing original research, getting a Ph.D. or trying to get one of the elite jobs in Silicon Valley or Semiconductor Alley, there was increasingly no reason to go to Georgia Tech, which is a meat grinder where undergraduates, and especially underclassmen undergrads, are on their own (and even sacrificed to improve Tech's reputation as being a difficult school). Instead, you could go to SPSU, be in a much better environment for learning\networking\professor interaction, and in a lot of cases wind up with the same job with the same pay as most Tech grads (at least those in the local job market) get anyway. And the engineering school at UGA? Please. It will be years before they are able to compete with even smaller engineering schools in reputation; their only value is in the UGA degree itself. So if you don't want a UGA degree - which is of little value in engineering and technology beyond computer science - SPSU is a much better deal.

A lot of people point out that a KSU employee sits on the BOR ... big deal that happens. The real story may be that Georgia Tech and even UGA wanted to squash the SPSU success and fold it into a university that will meet our economic needs of cranking out as many engineers as possible but in a way that does not cause anyone to rethink going to Georgia Tech or UGA. Instead of being the school that is a "better deal" or "better choice" than Georgia Tech or UGA for undergrads and even some master's degree students, the new arrangement will definitely be for people who can't get into those schools and don't want to head out of state to Auburn, University of Tennessee, Clemson etc.
corporate sponsor
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November 15, 2013
Up next, KSU will require a corporate sponsor.

The clear choice is Walmart.

Walmart has everything you could ever want, while also have nothing you would ever want because when you take it home you realize it's broken and useless.

WELCOME TO THE NEW WALMART STATE UNIVERSITY OF KENNESAW (NOT MARIETTA) GA!

The burning question is whether they will actually put "(NOT MARIETTA)" in the school's new name just to prove their point that Kennesaw keeps smacking Marietta in the face.
moliere
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November 14, 2013
The support of those at SPSU? Ha! The folks at SPSU would be better served looking for new jobs. The programs that exist both at SPSU and KSU (i.e. computer science, information technology, business/management/accounting, international studies, education, biology, math, chemistry, physics) etc. will simply be transferred to and absorbed by the much larger departments at KSU, despite any lip service to the contrary. What remains will simply be called "KSU Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering" or something similar and will be a branch campus that engineering and architecture majors will take classes after they are finished with their core requirements at the main Kennesaw campus. So, the entire emphasis, mission, culture etc. of the SPSU campus will be changed. And it won't take long for the main campus starts to see the SPSU campus as extra space for spillover classes from the main campus and extra resources to milk also. And as the KSU president has stated that the Board of Regents has denied repeated requests on his part to make KSU more selective, the notions of this being used as some grand scheme to make KSU into some elite comprehensive research university should be abandoned. Instead, the role that KSU will play in the system will be to crank out as many undergraduate degrees as possible - including in engineering - to kids who could not get into UGA, Georgia Tech or Georgia State.

Instead of sticking around to make it work, SPSU students, professors, administrators and staff should look out for their own best interests and hightail it out of there. Let the BOR and KSU be the ones to "make it work."

And incidentally, as I predicted earlier, do not expect the Brumby paper to actually criticize the folks that they support politically, the conservative Republicans behind this deal. The MDJ cares more about supporting the state and national GOP ticket than advocating for their own community. The state university - a good one that provided many benefits to the community - is being absorbed in a very bad deal, and they can't even bring themselves to criticize it. If it were an "urban" Democrat behind this deal, the MDJ would squawk over it until the cows came home.
Marcia Smith
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November 14, 2013
Who wrote this headline? There is nothing in these comments to suggest SPSU folks are willing to back the new KSU. What is really being said is that they are not going to be listened to or considered in the high-jacking of their school. Editorializing doesn't change that reality.
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